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Information about Salem

Published on January 10, 2009

Author: sallymoe



The scenic and historic area of Salem and the north of Boston.

B S ewitching alem And the delightful B Y S A L LY M O E Y ou could say the North of Boston area suffers from a bit of a multiple personality disorder. Think about it. It’s famous as a seafaring region overflowing with picturesque har- bors, shipbuilding museums and historic seaports, each with its own one-degree-of George Washington story. But go exploring a mile or two inland. Now you’re embed- Salem Office of Tourism & Cultural Affairs, Inc. ded in richly forested, gently rolling green country with fruit and berry orchards, win- eries and sprawling estates that give way to “singing sand” beaches. Take to the highways and you’re in leaf-peeper territory worthy of a coffee table book. Take to the seas and you’re communing with pods of whales. And scattered in between like color- ful punctuation—inviting local shops, SALEM HAS BEEN DESIGNATED ONE OF THE galleries, museums and restaurants. TOP 12 DISTINCTIVE DESTINATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES BY THE NATIONAL TRUST This part of the country has FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION. given birth to some notable writers and poets—Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Frost and John Greenleaf Interestingly, the Corwin homestead’s Barbara Kennedy Whittier (whose 200th birthday is threatened destruction in 1944 had a galva- celebrated this year) among them—and is noteworthy by American standards. nizing effect on a number of townspeople inspires creatives still on the way with its Liberally spiced with lovingly preserved, and ignited a wave of restoration spirit. That literary and artist-friendly vibe. Narrow historic and quite possibly haunted spirit helped move and restore the austere streets brim with vintage inns and bed- homes, churches and cemeteries, Salem three-gabled home, and repurposed it as a and-breakfasts boasting four-poster beds, is a hub of goosebump-inducing atmo- museum. Now known as the Witch House, fireplaces, antique armoires, and gleam- sphere. Some of it is tongue-in-cheek to tours of the site lend a deeper insight into ing, grab-a-book-and-take-a-delicious-long- be sure—but while the witch trials of the lifestyle, mindset and potent supersti- bath-rooms stocked with posh toiletries. 1692 comprised less than a year of Amer- tions of those times. Some even come equipped with a cantan- ican history, their impact was tragic and Coincidentally, the Witch House is kerous old window you can yank open to all too real. the first stop on the camera-worthy walk- let out the steam and usher in the fresh Only one structure remains in Salem ing tour of Salem’s McIntire Historic Dis- air...and perhaps a curious ghost or two. with direct ties to those events: the erst- trict, named for Samuel McIntire, a self- while home of witch trials Judge Jonathan taught architect and lifelong Salem resident Salem/Shalom — City of Peace Corwin. Alongside John Hathorne — until his death in 1811. His architectural Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great-great grand- designs and influence can be seen in the Ghosts notwithstanding, ours is a young father—Corwin presided over 19 hang- Federal-era homes the district is known for. country, globally speaking—so Salem’s ings and one “death by pressing” before The tour is an enjoyable way to get a feel founding in 1626 by puritan Roger Conant the Oyer and Terminer court’s dissolu- for the city, directing you past such unique landmarks as the Broad Street Cemetery (himself born across the pond in 1592), tion in October of that same year. 14 | AAA Going Places 14_16_SC_GPS_Salem_SO07.indd 14 8/9/07 2:50:32 PM

Peter Vanderwarker North of Boston Region Jim McAllister Events Calendar It’s getting to be that bittersweet time again, when days take on a crisp brilliance and leaves explode in a feverish burst of color. There’s no better place for enjoying the spectacle than Salem. Check out some of the special events coming up at the Witch House—but October is a happening month all over town. Visit to find out more. AUTUMN COLONIAL DAYS Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007 Get ready for a day of living history at the Witch House! Costumed presenters portray Puritan colonists from Salem and Boston. Enjoy a tour of the site, learn about life in the 17th century, the architecture of the house, and the trials of 1692. EERIE EVENINGS AT THE Barbara Kennedy WITCH HOUSE Friday and Saturday evenings in October, starting Oct. 12, 2007 Six nights of “Eerie Evenings at the Witch House” continue a 20-year tradition of live storytelling, Opposite page top: The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literary inspiration. Opposite page left: Explore Salem in air-conditioned comfort on the Historic Tours Shuttle. featuring costumed actors, startling new stories Top left: One of the many distinctive homes that give Chestnut Street its remarkable appeal. and authentic settings. Call (978) 744-8815 for Top right: The Peabody Essex Museum’s soaring atrium with arched glass roof. tickets and information. Middle: Pickering Wharf has all the seafaring charm you’ll ever need. 15 | AAA Going Places 14_16_SC_GPS_Salem_SO07.indd 15 8/9/07 2:51:02 PM

Salem Witch Museum Left: Entrance, Salem Witch Museum. Above: One of the dioramas depicting the chain of events that took place in 1692. Tina Jordan Trolley roam the city with hop-on, hop- and the Pickering House, which shel- a Registered National Historic Landmark off tours; tickets are good for the entire tered 11 generations of Pickerings from the that is considered one of the most architec- day. They’ll take you all over town, for easy time it was built in 1651, all the way to turally beautiful streets in the entire coun- access to such landmarks as the Peabody 1999 (said to be the only house in Amer- try. No small feat. Essex Museum, the Salem Witch Museum, ica to have been occupied continually by Downloadable brochures are avail- the House of the Seven Gables and more. the same family for so many years). You able for this and other walking tours Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), Ameri- also will find the Gothic Revival-style First exploring different districts of Salem ca’s oldest continuously operating museum Church of Salem, with its windows by (go to (est. in 1799), is a triumphant mix of none other than Louis Comfort Tiffany /brochures.htm). But if walking tours aren’t old and new with enthralling, skillfully and John LaFarge; and Chestnut Street— your thing, Salem Trolley and City View arranged exhibits, beautiful architecture and a gift shop that’s catnip for shopahol- ics. Furthermore, starting Oct. 13, 2007, PEM is hosting a special exhibition entitled “Samuel McIntire: Carving an American Style” as part of the 250th anniversary cel- ebration of the architect. A couple of blocks away, Salem Witch Museum studies witches and witchcraft in general, and the 1692 trials in particu- lar, with a thoughtful focus on stereotyp- ing and recurring historic patterns of fear- mongering and scapegoating (remember high school, anyone?). And the celebrated House of the Seven Gables, titular setting of Hawthorne’s eerily romantic novel—and proclaimed the oldest surviving 17th-cen- tury wooden mansion in New England— has a secret staircase. C’mon. The book is still in print, and the House of the Seven Gables is open until 11 p.m. on weekends all through Octo- ber. How much more encouragement do you need? ■ To learn more about Salem and the historic North of Boston region, visit www.escapesnorth .com. To plan your trip, visit AAA Travel or 16 | AAA Going Places 14_16_SC_GPS_Salem_SO07.indd 16 8/9/07 2:40:39 PM

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